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Thursday, September 23, 2004
ATHENS, Greece --- Tennessee State University men's track and field team member Ryan Fann became the first TSU male athlete since Ralph Boston in 1968 to win a medal at an Olympic sponsored event. Fann earned a bronze medal in the 400m (T44) with a time of 53.64. Fellow American Danny Andrews of Miami, Fla., took the gold medal in the event with the time of 51.24, setting a new world record. Fann, who came into the event ranked second in the world with a time of 53.85, bested his top time from the 2004 outdoor season by more than twenty-hundredths of a second. Fann, a junior from Carthage, Tenn., is one of only 39 athletes in Athens representing the United States. He will also compete in the 200m and on the 4x400 team. Fann, who had his left leg below the knee amputated after a childhood accident, has consistently turned heads since joining the Tigers' track team last year. He has never finished last in any event he has entered and remains in competition with top non-disabled athletes in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Paralympic Games are the second-largest sporting event in the world, conceding top honors only to the Olympics. The multi-sport competition showcases the talents and abilities of the world's most elite athletes with physical disabilities. The Paralympics feature 21 sports, 18 of which are also contested in the Olympics. More information about the 2004 Paralympics can be found by clicking here.